The First of Many

In working on phase II in the Insane Roots memoir series, I have gone back and revisited some of the most devastating moments in my life. Some of which, were so damaging that I had almost completely blocked them out of my mind.

Breaking down the walls has been challenging to say the least, but it has also brought back a great deal of beautiful memories as well and reminded me of the many milestones that have had an extensive impact on who I am today.

As you can imagine, my journals as a teenager were centered mostly around boys & the fact that no one understood me. It’s hard not to laugh at myself, but it’s all about perspective and back then I had very little experience with life.

And for that reason, I don’t think I had a very good idea of what love really was back then either. Mostly because I realize now that I didn’t love myself and until that happens I am not sure you are really able to love someone else fully. It takes a lot to allow yourself to be vulnerable to the possibility that the object of your affection may not return the gaze. 

My past relationships were no cake walk, let me tell you!! With the exception of a very small handful of the men I have dated, the majority of them treated me like dirt.

They claimed to love me, but if they did, there would be no way in the world they would have behaved the way they did.

It wasn’t until well after high school that I can honestly say I felt real love and it was reciprocated at that! It was clear then that all those who had come before were merely practice for the real thing. And although that relationship didn’t work out as planned, it worked out the way it was supposed to. 

I was shattered for a while when we broke up, but I think anyone would be after having been with someone for as long as we were together. 

Eventually, I put myself back out into the dating pool again and well….Ya it didn’t pan out the best. So…almost 3 years ago, I  took myself back off the market (“closed for remodeling” as I called it). 

I knew there was something in me that I needed to repair before I was ready to get back out there again. I was clearly attracting the wrong type of men and allowing them to treat me like the ones in the past did.

Again, it was my own self worth standing in my way. I didn’t believe I deserved a different kind of relationship; one where the love goes both ways.

I also think that deep down, I am still battling with the feeling that perhaps I just don’t believe that anyone could actually love me. I mean all of me…right down to the crazy! 

I know that it’s silly, but even now there is a lump in my throat as I think about it. And it causes me to overthink everything…this constant state of worry that breeds unhealthy habits. 

Habits of self defeating behavior, the need for reassurance & fear. 

Sometimes I really am my worst enemy! 

I’m stopping that! 

From here on out, I am going to focus on the fact that I have someone with whom I love spending time with & perhaps it will grow into something more & perhaps it won’t. 

Maybe he’ll feel the same or maybe he won’t, but either way when I am with him I’m happy and for now that is enough. 

Overthinking where it’s going just leads to unnecessary pressure and a ton of needless worry! 

I’d rather be thankful than fearful, so that is just what I’m going to do!!

Advertisements

I haven’t yet, but I will.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about how when we were younger and a guy we were dating treated us well, we would instantly no longer find him attractive. And the ones who treated us like dirt, we fell madly in love with.

I mean what rational person behaves like that? You are basically screwing yourself from the get go!

And then we wonder why all of our relationships fail?! Really?!

Does it really make sense that someone you were originally attracted to for being a jerk would all of the sudden become the thoughtful person you originally pushed away.

Having been that way most of my life, I realize now that any relationship I have ever been in was founded on unrealistic expectations. All of which were not communicated to the other person.

I came to this conclusion a few years ago when I was doing some major rehab on myself. And I swore that I would make a great effort moving forward to stop expecting and start enjoying.

I also made the decision to stay single until I learned to appreciate the value in it. I was a serial monogamist for years, jumping from one relationship to the next without taking the time in-between to evaluate where the previous one went wrong and what I needed to work on myself.

It was not fair to the person I was dating or to myself.

I have learned so much about myself over the past few years. The most important of which is that my happiness should never be considered the responsibility of another. That has always led to co-dependency and failure in my relationships.

I have also learned not to take things so personally. I mean let’s be honest, people don’t always say what they mean or they may in the moment, but in the light of day, everything changes.

I am a very strong willed and sometimes stubborn person. Partnered with my independence and the magnitude by which I feel, it can be a lot to handle. It always seems like a good idea in the beginning, but it is never very long before the opposite sex turns and runs in the other direction.

I used to internalize this as there being something wrong with me. Maybe I was just unlovable?!

It took a long time for me to realize that was simply not true.

I am not unlovable, I was just not meant to be loved by them.

And I know this now because I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content.

I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth. I am not the usual run of the mill gal and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I also know in my heart that behind the scenes, everything is falling into place.

There is nothing I need to do, when the time is right, I know our paths will cross. And it is important that they do not cross too early. Have you ever met someone and thought to yourself that had the timing been different, it could have been perfect. But for one reason or another, one or both of you were just not ready for the intensity of what you shared.

As I am growing and becoming more myself, I am sure that person is doing the same. Meeting now could mean preventing ourselves from lessons we are still meant to learn.

And besides, the main focus for me at this point in time is staying true to myself. Something that has been a challenge in the past when sharing my life with another.

After all, we are no good to anyone if we have not found a way to be comfortable in our own skin.

It was a rarity and a blessing back then to have found someone with whom I could walk that path. We were so young and our love so strong that nothing else mattered. And although we have both chosen to walk a different path, he will always be the one who gave me the courage to be myself.

Our love is different now and in many ways stronger. He is not a lover, nor would I want him to be or could he be. The story of how we came to this place is a long one and I am saving that for the pages of my next book, but let’s just say that he and I have the same taste… in men. 🙂

The last few months have been hard. I have struggled with the same feelings of inadequacy in love and after the most recent heart break, I really thought I would never feel unbroken.

But I do.

Now, I do.

I have been fortunate enough to find the strength to pick myself up (once again!) and move forward. I have been able to look back on the situation and see it for what it truly was…not meant to be.

He was the first person, I found comfort in after a very long stint of being alone. I could see his potential, but he could not. He was important to me, but I was not to him. And you know what? That is not his fault and it is not mine. My feelings for him changed, as I changed. He changed me.

That was more than a month ago now and I can honestly say that I have no ill feelings. He was doing the best he could with what he had at the time and that is all I could have expected from him.

As I said before, I know now that I am cut from a very different cloth and loving me is not a task for the weak.

I have been loved and I mean truly loved. For all my faults, through all my mistakes, unconditionally, I have been loved. It was a very long time ago, which is perhaps why for so long I forgot it was possible to find that again.

I haven’t yet, but I will.

And until then, I am content just being me.

New Beginnings

For the past few days there has been a robin at my house that has been relentlessly attacking the windows. The most obvious reason is that it is mating season and he most likely saw his reflection so he was persistently staking his claim. So, I covered the exterior windows to remove the reflection, but he didn’t go away. In fact, as I was getting into my car to leave, he flew at my car window and then just sat on the hood looking at me.

“What do you want?!” I said looking at him through the windshield. He just tilted his head and flew away.

Frustrated, I just rolled my eyes and left.

A close friend of mine reminded me that birds are messengers and that he was trying to tell me something. I had no idea what that could be and then today it hit me.

For me, seeing a robin usually fills me with great joy because they are a sign of spring and spring is a time for new beginnings. However, this robin was making me angry and just seemed to be adding to my already sober and defeated mood.

My life since last fall has been in a bit of turmoil. I won’t go in to the details, but lets just say that every aspect of it has been a challenge. From work to house repairs to my love life, everything has been in what feels like a constant state of upheaval.

Each day it was becoming harder and harder to find peace. Something I had thought I mastered. I was very wrong.

The downward spiral started in September and by March, when I was beginning to think I had a handle on everything again, my greatest weakness reared its ugly head.

I felt broken and ashamed.

Mostly, I was disappointed in myself for allowing others the power to take my joy away, for letting their actions dictate my self-worth and my mood. I was better than that! I have done the work, found my center, my peace. So how in the world did I end up here again?

Because I am human.

Because I am a person who feels with great intensity and loves from the deepest caverns of my soul. I look for the best in people and when I don’t see it, I just look that much harder.

Call me naive, but I think the words we utter to another, whether it be a boss making promises to an employee or a lover professing their love, should be taken as truth or never spoken.

Perhaps that is the lesson here.

The only intentions one can truly count on are our own.

Last night for what is now going on almost a month, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned til 3AM playing the disappointments of the days past, over and over in my head. Until it all became too much.

The emptiness in my heart so heavy I could hold back the tears no longer. So I cried. And I begged the lord to make it all go away. Pleading with him to take away this pain, this love and the memories that keep swimming around in my brain. It had been a very long time since I felt this alone, this defeated, this heartbroken.

In that moment, I would have given anything to be angry. But with all the love in my heart, it was just not possible.

Catching my breath, still pleading for a resolution, I eventually fell into the only place of peace I have found these days…sleep.

I awoke this morning with an overwhelming feeling of disappointment that I had to struggle through yet another day.

And then it came…the anger. What a relief!

Sounds weird I know, that anger would be a relief, but it was.

Just feeling the anger, reminded me of who I was. I was no longer debilitated with sadness anymore, but rather empowered with madness! Not just at those who hurt me, but at myself.

How dare I allow the actions of others to bring me back down to a place I swore I would never be again. They have no power over me unless I let them and why did I let them?

I let them because I gave them much more credit than they deserved. I was not unworthy of their kindness or undeserving of their love. If anything, perhaps they were unworthy of mine?

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.” – Bob Marley

And for me, after anger comes clarity. You see, I am a person who believes in second chances, but there is rarely a third. Once I get pushed to the limit, there is usually no going back. For by that time, I have learned too much to revisit old feelings. Call it self preservation I guess, but by the time I have reached this point the words of another that once had so much power lose all meaning.

I know people can change and I will never rule out the possibility of them doing so. After all, this life is a learning experience for all of us. However, actions become their only hope in convincing me that the change is real.

And more importantly, this entire experience has taught me that I still have a great deal of growing to do myself. They say that timing is everything and as humans we want what we want and we want it right now!

It is important to remember though that perhaps the reason we are not getting what we want is because either we are not ready for it, it is not ready for us or it simply is not meant to be. And if it is not meant to be than there is surely something even better waiting around the corner. We just have to have faith that it will come to us when the time is right.

When I think about my little robin “stalker” now, I can finally see the message. Anger was door to the peace I was seeking and joy the window to new beginnings.

For anyone who is feeling down, left behind or unworthy, I hope you found this helpful. Just remember, you are the creator of your own reality and only you should have power over the way you feel.

Never give that power away.

 

Image courtesy of PaulR at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

A Refreshing Change is in Your Future

Good Morning! I don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep. I woke up bursting with inspiration to write. Which is pretty amazing considering it has been a very long time since I felt the inspiration to do much of anything!

The last few months my life has been in complete upheaval. I have pushed my limits emotionally and physically. And I have been left feeling exhausted and overwhelmed for a number of reasons.

My current job is very demanding and although it may seem easy to some to simply walk away at the end of the work day or take a day off without worrying about the aftermath. For me, that is not an option. I take a great deal of pride in my work, so if there is still work to do my day does not end and many times my weekends never get started. It’s great for my employer, but not so great for me as I am beginning to realize. I enjoy my job and I love the people I work with, but I need to find some type of resolution to this before I get burned out.

I spend all day on the computer, so needless to say I have not felt much like jumping back on at the end of the day and writing. However, I forgot how important it was to my mental health to do just that. Writing is a way to center myself. A way to stay in tune with who I am and where I want to go from here. In the absence of it, I begin to lose myself.

Without regular reflection, I begin to fall back into old patterns and the great deal of progress I have made over the last few years begins to fade.

Well enough is enough! Every day we are faced with conflicts and challenges, that is a given. However, we do not need to allow them to rule us. There is a balance in everything and I just need to find it. How you ask?

The first step…just breathe…in with the good and out with the bad. Rather than having a mini meltdown over whatever is bothering me, I need to take a moment to take a deep breath and center myself before tackling whatever obstacle is in my way. The problem will still be there, but I will be better able to deal with it after a moment of catching my breath.

Dyer would say, “The morning has secrets to tell…don’t go back to sleep.”

Perhaps that was the reason for waking up at 4 AM bursting with inspiration today! Kind of a way of putting myself in check before tackling the tasks at hand 🙂

How Important is Alone Time?

I have had a lot going on these past few weeks and by the time this weekend hit, I could really feel it taking a toll. It was time to re-evaluate my life and my priorities. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t have some alone time to reflect on things, I begin to feel a bit anxious. Perhaps it is because I have spoiled myself over the last two years by making this time a priority. I know that I am no good for anyone or anything if I am not taking care of myself mentally and physically.

My loyal and ambitious nature can sometimes be my own destruction. I have this idea that I can do everything for everyone and once I start something I have to finish it! This is great for my friends, family and employers, but it is not always as great for me.

Although it is good to be dependable, it is necessary to know your limits and when the time comes to speak up for yourself despite the consequences.

I know I can do anything I put my mind to and I also know that in order to do so, I must have a clear head. And in order for me to have a clear head, it is very important that I have some alone time to organize my thoughts.

I struggle with an aim to please everyone and in many cases this results in taking on too much. As well as putting my personal needs on the back burner. I have thought long and hard about the road ahead and I have come to the conclusion that I am ready for a change.

As my life currently stands, I am spending the majority of my time working on the non-creative aspects of my life. It is daunting and at times very stressful. There is very little time in my day to be creative, inspired or constructive in my growth; much like the life I escaped in moving from Wisconsin in 2014. How did I fall back into the same patterns again? And more importantly, how do I get out of them? That is something I needed some alone time to figure out.

According to an article by Sherrie Bourg Carter in Psychology Today, the constant motion of daily life can hinder deep thinking and the ability to effectively work through one’s personal life challenges. Constant distractions such as meetings, phone calls and incoming emails cause tasks to take longer to complete and therefore make the work day less productive.

2. Solitude helps to improve concentration and increase productivityWhen you remove as many distractions and interruptions as you can from your day, you are better able to concentrate, which will help you get more work done in a shorter amount of time.. – Sherrie Bourg Carter

This may not be true for everyone, but it definitely is for me. When I am working from home with no distractions, I am way more efficient. Unnecessary meetings, phone calls or emails marked as important (when they are not) drive me nuts. Why spend time stressing/talking about what you need to get done instead of just doing it? I know there is a need for these things sometimes, but eliminating the unnecessary clears up time to do what is.

Time is precious and finite. And for that reason, I find it absolutely necessary to prioritize accordingly. Know what is important to you and put that at the top of your list. What a better way to do that than to have some much needed alone time. A moment of solitude, free from distractions, revitalizes the mind and helps those creative juices flow!

In doing so today, I have gained a better understanding of my true desire for my life moving forward. I will take the next two weeks to think it over, but I am pretty sure I have figured out what I would like my life to look like from here on out. It is not what one would call “ordinary”, but that is not a word I like very much anyway. How boring to be ordinary. I’d rather strive to be extraordinary!

Sometimes it takes a wrench being thrown into the mix to help you see more clearly and to remind you that you are in control of your own life. When you give this power to others, you hinder yourself from greatness.

Now go out there and seize the day! 🙂